The Rewind: UAA men’s basketball upset top-ranked Saint Martin’s, Service boys basketball surges and Kaiser takes Kusko 300

Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.

This past week featured several notable team and individual performances across the Alaska sports landscape at the prep, collegiate and professional levels. One of the top high school basketball teams in Division 4A rattled off five straight wins and continues to impress. The top-seeded Division I prep hockey team ended the regular season with a show of force. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team notched its biggest win of the season thus far while the women responded after having their winning streak snapped. Outside the state, several Alaskans had impressive performances both domestically and internationally at the collegiate and professional levels.

Headlines and highlights

The 2023-24 high school hockey regular season came to a close last week and saw the West Anchorage boys secure the Cook Inlet Conference title and No. 1 seed in the regional tournament for the first time since 2020. Thanks to perennial power Dimond upsetting defending Division I state champion Chugiak in a midweek clash, the Eagles had the crown secured before they took on Bartlett/East and Service in a three-day span. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the Eagles from ending the regular season on a dominant note by blowing out both teams by a combined 26-1 goal margin that included a 16-1 win over the northside co-op on Thursday and a 10-0 shutout of the Cougars on Saturday.

“It feels pretty good,” West coach Rob Larkey said. “At the beginning of the year we had some talks as a team about where we wanted to go and this was one of the goals we wanted to have and it’s nice to reach your goals.”

While the Service boys hockey team is heading into the postseason on a two-game skid, the school’s boys basketball team is picking up steam and currently riding a five-game winning streak after beating West last Tuesday and running the table at the 2024 Denali State Bank Ice Jam tournament up in Fairbanks. Their early week CIC bout with the Eagles set the tone for the week as the Cougars were able to fend off a furious late rally and find a way to hold on to the victory.

“We’re growing and are trying to learn how to close teams out, especially the No. 1 team in the state (East),” Service head coach Jocquis Sconiers said. “We did a good job of battling and figuring out how to end strong.”

[Service boys basketball team survives furious late rally attempt by West in statement victory]


Just days after falling at home on a last-second 3-pointer to Western Oregon University on Thursday, the UAA men’s basketball team rebounded in a big way by upsetting nationally top-ranked Saint Martin’s University 71-68 on Saturday day night. The Seawolves were led by senior guard Tyson Gilbert who had a career night with a game-high 28 points, a whopping 18 of which came in the span of just over six and a half minutes in the first half.

“Those are the kind of games that you dream about growing up,” Gilbert said in a statement. “The guys did a great job early of setting me up, and we just stuck with it. That was an incredible team win. Defensively we’re all connected, and I’m just really proud of our guys how we bounced back from a tough loss the other night.”

[UAA men’s basketball team knocks off top-ranked Saint Martin’s]

The UAA women’s team also bounced back from a loss to Western Oregon in which it had a nine-game winning streak snapped by routing Saint Martin’s 62-41 on Saturday. The Seawolves had a trio of players reach double figures in scoring led by junior forward/center Tori Hollingshead with a game-high 18 points followed by senior guard Vishe’ Rabb who nearly had a double-double with a dozen points and team-leading nine rebounds. Junior guard Senya Rabouin came in with 10 points.

“That was an effort win tonight,” UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy said in a statement. “We couldn’t get consistent production offensively, but we controlled the boards and didn’t give them anything easy in the first half defensively. It’s nice to get back in the win column in any case, and we will have to bear down and find a renewed focus for the second half of the conference season coming up.”

Another weekend of NAHL action led to a third-straight sweep by the Anchorage Wolverines over an in-state opponent as they extended their winning streak to six straight by beating the Kenai River Brown Bears twice in a two-game series over the weekend. The Wolverines won both games by one goal and had five players record a goal. The first bout took place in Soldotna and resulted in a 2-1 victory while the second was back in town and ended in a 3-2 triumph.

[Pete Kaiser of Bethel wins Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race for 8th time]

Bethel musher Pete Kaiser crossed the finish line 41 minutes ahead of Matthew Failor of Willow on Sunday to win his eighth Kuskokwim 300 in a time of 37 hours and 25 minutes. The victory not only earned him $28,500 of the $185,000 purse but it also brings him within one of matching Jeff King’s record of nine in the event’s 45th year of existence.

“We have to come back next year with a lot of good training and a good dog team and put it all together and see if we can do it again,” Kaiser told KYUK Radio in a finish line interview. “That’s not easy. Every one of these victories I’m very thankful for knowing it could be the last.”

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Rosie Brennan was one of three Americans on the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team that produced a top-10 finish in the final race of the World Cup series in Goms, Switzerland on Sunday. Her time of 45:42.2 in the 20K skate was good enough for seventh place while teammates Jessie Diggins and Sophia Laukli finished first and fifth. On the men’s side, her fellow Alaska Pacific University ski team members Gus Schumacher and Scott Patterson came in 14th and 18th.

“Today’s race was hectic and stressful -- this course is just so fast,” Brennan said in a statement to “But, it was awesome to have three of us in the top 10, it really shows that we’re coming back into form, and we just have a really strong skate squad, and it’s exciting to carry this momentum as we go into the North American World Cups!”

Anchorage’s Alissa Pili continued to stay hot offensively for the University of Utah women’s basketball team this past week, scoring in double figures in three straight games. The former Dimond High multisport star recorded 16 points Monday and Friday in Pac-12 victories over No. 2 UCLA and Oregon. Unfortunately, her most productive outing of the past week came in a lopsided loss to No. 25 Oregon State on Friday when she led the Utes with 28 points.

Anchorage’s Damarion Delaney nearly recorded his third double-double of the season in the Spokane Community College men’s basketball team’s 82-70 win over Blue Mountain on Wednesday. The former Bettye Davis East Anchorage two-sport star finished second on the team in scoring with 18 points and led the Bigfoot with nine rebounds.

Anchorage’s Nolan Walker recorded his fifth multi-goal game of the 2023-24 season for the Western Conference-leading Kansas City Mavericks of the ECHL in a 5-4 shootout win over the Allen Americans on Friday. Both came in the third period after his team had fallen behind 4-1 early. His last came on a power play and tied the game to force extra time.

Girdwood’s Ava Earl shaved seven seconds off her previous personal best and finished ahead of the next closest runner in a dominant win at the Aurora Grand Prix on Jan. 19 with a mark of 4 minutes, 42.74 seconds in the mile race. The junior at Northwestern University clocked the second-fastest time in that race ever by an Alaska woman, behind only Allie Ostrander who ran it in a time of 4:35.79 in 2019 and is just the third Alaskan to complete it in under 4 minutes, 50 seconds.

Ketchikan’s Issac Updike is a steeplechaser by trade but Friday at the John Thomas Terrier Classic which took place on the indoor track at Boston University, the 31-year-old recorded a personal best and made state history in the mile. His finish of 3 minutes, 55.17 seconds was good enough for sixth in his heat but first in the Alaska record book with the previous record-holder being Trevor Dunbar of Kodiak, who recorded a mark of 3:55.54 in 2017.

Fast forward




Region IV Championship tournament

The 2023-24 postseason will officially get underway this week around the state as teams will try to earn a chance to contend for a state title next week. In town and out in Eagle River, there will be games between CIC teams taking place at 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. at Ben Boeke and Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center indoor ice arenas everyday except Wednesday. Action starts on Monday and will wrap up Saturday night with the championship game at 7 p.m. at Boeke.


Lady Lynx Tournament, Thursday-Saturday

Some of the top contenders from the 3A and 4A girls prep basketball divisions will square off in town for the annual three-day tournament hosted by Dimond. It will also feature Barrow, whose only two losses have come against the reigning state champions from the top two divisions, Colony whose only loss of the season came narrowly by a point to Mountain City Christian Academy, and Service which is a promising up-and-coming team.


Men’s Basketball


UAA vs UAF, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Center

The Seawolves will be staying in town and looking to build off the momentum of their huge win last weekend when they host their in-state rival Nanooks who will be coming into Anchorage for the second matchup of the season. UAA won the first meeting between them in the first week of January up in Fairbanks in a tightly-contested game that went into overtime.


UAA vs UAF, Saturday at 5:07 p.m. at Avis Alaska Sports Complex

The Seawolves will have gone 62 days since their last home game by the time the puck drops Saturday night in the sixth and final game of the annual Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup series. Even though they still lead the all-time series 51-32-7, UAA has either lost or tied 10 straight to UAF prior to playing to a 2-2 stalemate the last time they played.

Last week’s results

Boys Hockey


Colony 4, West 3


Dimond 11, Bartlett/East 2

Palmer 4, Wasilla 1

North Pole 8, Monroe Catholic 2


Service 5, Eagle River 2


Dimond 4, Chugiak 3

Tri-Valley 3, Monroe Catholic 3


West 16, Bartlett 1


South 13, Eagle River 0


Dimond 7, Service 0

Palmer 6, Kodiak 1

Houston 5, Juneau-Douglas 3

Kenai Central 6, Soldotna 3


Colony 3, North Pole 2

Wasilla 7, West Valley 3

Houston 8, Juneau-Douglas 0

Palmer 7, Kodiak 1

West 10, Service 0




West 28, Bartlett 7

West - Marcos Vian 242

Bartlett - Nick Jones 180

Dimond 33, Service 2

Dimond - Logan Jokela 277

Service - Cyrus Varela 200

Eagle River 35, Chugiak 0

Eagle River - Riley Lanehart 203

Chugiak - forfeit

South 23, East 12

South - Jet Kmet 201

East - Damien Cruz 213


Bartlett 20, West 15

Bartlett - Kara Lyman 164

West - Anika Stanley 188

Dimond 33, Service 2

Dimond - Abigail Jokela and Jarriah Silverio 171

Service - Alyssa Porcelli -173

Chugiak 30, Eagle River 5

Chugiak - Abigail Lanehart 186

Eagle River - Payton Stokes 161

East 27, South 8

East - Chacity Kuamoo 221

South - Sharon Cho 150



Service 25, Bartlett 10

Service - Cyrus Varela 206

Bartlett - Nick Jones 197

West 31, Eagle River 4

West - Jahdyn Odom 255

Eagle River - Mike Jennings 237

East 26, Dimond 9

East - Colton Penetac 267

Dimond - Logan Jokela 267

South 35, Chugiak 0

South - Jonathan Wood 222

Chugiak - Michael Nelson 120


Bartlett 29, Service 6

Bartlett - Kara Lyman 188

Service - Alyssa Porcelli 165

West 20, Eagle River 15

West - Anika Stanley 167

Eagle River - Morgan Van Slyke 160

Dimond 31, East 4

Dimond - Khloee Waldren 255

East - Chacity Kuamoo 200

Chugiak 31, South 4

Chugiak - Abigail Lanehart 181

South - Sharon Cho 116

Boys Basketball


East 74, South 34

Dimond 64, Eagle River 48

Wasilla 78, Palmer 67

Service 64, West 54

Bartlett 73, Chugiak 45

Monroe 62, Delta 43

Nenana 55, Kokrine 50

Klawock 53, Angoon 41

Tok 52, Glenallen 45


Service 72, Lathrop 34

Klawock 83, Angoon 69

Skagway 83, Gustavus 39


West Valley 55, Wasilla 44

Service 63, Thunder Mountain 60

Kenai Central 58, Birchwood Christian 30

Scammon Bay 56, NVTO 53

Shishmaref 78, Anthony Andrews 63

Nome-Beltz 60, Delta 21

Kotzebue 62, Hutchison 48

Mt. Edgecumbe 63, Redington 41

Soldotna 72, Palmer 42

Hooper Bay 76, Unalaska 52

Cook Inlet Academy 76, Kalskag 26

Ket’acik and Aapalluk Memorial 56, Akula Elitnaurvik 52

Tikigaq 82, Nunamiut 61


Service 49, West Valley 40

Dimond 68, South 62

East 59, Eagle River 43

West 86, Chugiak 62

Thunder Mountain 79, Wasilla 56

Ketchikan 71 Juneau 55

Cook Inlet Academy 79, Lumen Christi 51

Scammon Bay 65, Tikigaq 58

Seward 61, Homer 36

Palmer 60, Kenai Central 25

Valdez 61, Galena 31

Soldotna 56, Birchwood Christian 47

Barrow 62, Bethel 50

Delta 57, Kotzebue 49

Unalakleet 81, Chevak 59

Cordova 70, Su Valley 42

Colony 56, Kodiak 34

Nome-Beltz 78, Hutchison 23

Ninilchik 76, Kalskag 24

Grace Christian 70, Mountain City 50


Russian Mission 71, Alakanuk 58

Unalakleet 85, Chevak 51

Barrow 63, Bethel 51

Tok 78, Nenana 40

Service 58, Wasilla 48

Grace Christian 79, Seward 42

Mt. Edgecumbe 71, Houston 29

West Valley 62, Thunder Mountain 51

Soldotna 61, Kenai Central 38

Cook Inlet Academy 80, Birchwood Christian 40

Shishmaref 80, Brevig Mission 67

Scammon Bay 69, Nunamiut 60

Craig 76, Hydaburg 41

Juneau-Douglas 78, Ketchikan 75

Wrangell 50, Petersburg 39

Cordova 51, Su Valley 48

Metlakatla 51, Haines 35

Girls Basketball


Glennallen 56, Tok 13

Service 64, West 48

Dimond 68, Eagle River 40

Wasilla 75, Palmer 28

South 45, East 35

Monroe Catholic 51, Delta 6

Nenana 60, Effie Kokrine Charter 14


Tanalian 37, Koliganek 28

Juneau-Douglas 52, Lathrop 39

Lumen Christi 43, Kalskag 21

Newhalen 71, Togiak 6


Newhalen 70, King Cove 50

Tanalian 44, Chief Ivan Blunka 29

Martin L Olson 47, White Mountain 36

Wasilla 55, Juneau-Douglas 20

Kalskag 30, Cook Inlet Academy 29

Soldotna 50, Kenai Central 20

Ninilchik 58, Birchwood Christian 38

Hooper Bay 65 Unalaska 33

Mt. Edgecumbe 59, Redington 20

Shaktoolik 95, White Mountain 20


White Mountain 60, Aniguiin 28

Juneau-Douglas 52, Nikiski 23

Fort Yukon 51, Tri-Valley 36

King Cove 46, Tanalian 37

Lumen Christi 54, Cook Inlet Academy 23

Susitna Valley 54, Cordova 30

Palmer 53, Kenai Central 18

Mt. Edgecumbe 74, Houston 34

Unalakleet 46, Chevak 24

Eagle River 48, East 32

Grace Christian 59, Service 27

Homer 53, Seward 49

Wasilla 54, West Valley 22

Nunamiut 64, Nuiqsut Trapper 28

Barrow 65, Bethel 47

Hooper Bay 54, Unalaska 28

Metlakatla 56, Haines 30


St. Mary’s 71, Russian Mission 59

Unalakleet 63, Chevak 41

Wasilla 71, Nikisski 29

Grace Christian 69, Seward 37

Angapak 66, Eek 36

Mt. Edgecumbe 66, Houston 31

Aniak 57, Tuluksak 35

Nunamiut 41, Kali 28

Colony 72, Kodiak 8

Barrow 66, Bethel 20

Aniak 62, Akiak 58

Tanalian 44, Koliganek 20

Soldotna 55, Palmer 53

Wasilla 71, Nikiski 29

Tanalian 49, Chief Ivan Blunka 32

Susitna Valley 43, Cordova 27

West Valley 45, Juneau-Douglas 30

Ninilchik 75, Kalskag 34

Petersburg 35, Wrangell 34

Nunamiut 50, Kali 40

Craig 34, Kake 30

Metlakatla 51, Haines 46


Women’s Basketball


Western Oregon 73, UAA 53


UAA 62, Saint Martin’s 41

Men’s Basketball


Western Oregon 55, UAA 53


UAA 71, Saint Martin’s 68



Bridgeport 193.550; UAA 191.125; Ursinus 190.025; Rhode Island College 188.425


Brown 192.900; UAA 192.425; Southern Connecticut 191.100



Anchorage Wolverines 2, Kenai River Brown Bears 1


Anchorage Wolverines 3, Kenai River Brown Bears 2

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.